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July 01, 2018Tom George
We are delighted to announce that, as of today, Alexa now supports kid skills in India. Developers can now create fun and educational experiences for kids under the age of 13 using the Alexa Skills Kit. From games to instructional skills, you can create engaging kid-friendly voice experiences that will appeal to the whole family and make them available in the India Alexa Skills Store. Kid skills available today include Amar Chitra Katha’s India Quiz (quiz), ChuChu TV (nursery rhymes), Forest Fortune (interactive story game), Moshi Twilight (bedtime stories) and Suppandi's Crazy Brain-Teasers (quiz).
Parents can turn on kid skills using the Alexa app. When a parent asks Alexa to enable a kid skill for the first time, Alexa will ask the parent to turn on access to all kid skills by following the steps in the Alexa app. Access to kid skills only needs to be turned on once. Once permission is granted, all kid skills will be enabled for use on the parent’s account. Like with any other Alexa skill, parents will still need to enable each kid skill separately. Parents can turn off all kid skills at any time with the Settings menu of their Alexa app. When turned off, kid skills cannot be used on the parent’s account. To learn more about building kid skills for Alexa, check out our FAQs.
Join developers around the world who have already created engaging and award-winning Alexa kid skills for the whole family. Learn from the winners of the Alexa Skills Challenge: Kids. And check out our selection of over 300 kid skills available today in India.
Consider the Age Range You Want to Reach – Kids under 13 years of age is a broad category. What appeals to a 6-year-old is likely boring for a pre-teen. Conversely, if your voice experience it too complex, a younger kid will not engage with it. Consider also that pre-teens might want to get help with school homework, which opens up endless opportunities for educational kid skills. If you are designing a kid skill to appeal to a broader range of younger users, consider adding levels to it. See the Mix Master template skill for an example on how to create a skill with levels.
Foster Curiosity and Exploration – Kids are quick to take to voice experiences and talk to Alexa as if to a friend. This might result in unexpected ways kids will interact with your skill. Your interaction model will have to account for the many ways a younger user may interact with it. Make sure you listen to the way kids talk and the words they use, then build that flexibility in your model. Leverage entity resolution to handle these synonyms.
Guide Kids Through the Interactions – Kids might get frustrated in less time than adults with obstacles, and voice experiences are no different. Make sure you design your kid skill to guide kids to what is expected as an answer, using prompts and confirmations to provide the right guidance.
Create Memorable Moments – Kid skills need to be fun. Create delight and surprise using speechcons to get Alexa to use funny exclamations (Hurray!) and sound effects. Leverage these special sounds to reward, entertain, or support a wrong answer. Provide variety and introduce random or rotating welcome messages to ensure your kid skill remain new and engaging.
Deliver Fresh Content – Don’t forget to update the content of your kid skill. Fresh and new content is one of the main driver of skills’ usage. Think about using a database for your content instead of hardcoding it into your skill. This will ensure your updates are easier. You can also add dynamic content to your skill to keep your content fresh.
Polish Your Kid Skill Name and Description – Like with all skills, select your kid skill name wisely, make sure it stands out and its invocation name is easy and memorable. If kids cannot launch the skill, your great design will be wasted. Remember also that while your Alexa kid skill may be used by kids, it is their parents who will be the ones selecting and enabling it. Ensure your skill’s description is clear and informative and it clearly indicates the ideal age range.
For more insights into building skills for kids, see what others have built. We can’t wait to see what you create for kids in India!
Join our live webinar on 5 July at 3:00pm IST to learn how to use the Alexa Skills Kit to build experiences that both kids and parents will love. You'll hear about what families find engaging when it comes to voice experiences as well as tips and best practices for building skills that educate, entertain, and engage kids under 13. Register now!
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